Do you have family or friends visiting you from Europe, Australia, New Zealand or Asia this fall? They should be aware that Canada’s entry rules have changed and they may need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
What is an eTA? An eTA is an authorization certain travellers need to enter Canada by air. It is electronically linked to travellers’ passports and is intended for short-term stays for visiting, business and tourism activities.
Why do people need an eTA? An eTA allows us to check that travellers are admissible to enter Canada before they travel, which, in turn could facilitate their entry into Canada.
Who needs an eTA, and when do they need it by? Since March 15, 2016, travelers who normally do not need a visa to enter Canada because they are citizens of a visa-exempt country need an eTA to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include United States (U.S.) citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. U.S. lawful permanent residents need an eTA and must present a valid U.S. permanent resident card (Green Card) and a valid passport at check-in.
A leniency period was put in place so travellers caught unaware of the requirement could still board their flight without an eTA. However, this period ends on November 9, 2016, and travellers are encouraged to get their eTA now as they will need it to board their flight, starting November 10, 2016.
Applying for an eTA is a simple, inexpensive (CAN$7) online process that takes just minutes to complete. A passport, a credit card and an email address are all travellers need. Travellers can allow a third party, such as a travel agent, family member or friend, to apply on their behalf; however, they should use only the official Government of Canada website.
It is best for travellers to get their eTA before booking their flight to Canada. Most applicants are approved within minutes of applying. However, some applications can take several days to process, so travellers should apply as soon as they start planning their trip.
The eTA is valid for five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. This means travellers can fly to Canada repeatedly with a valid eTA and valid passport.
For more information, visit Canada.ca/eTA. You will find frequently asked questions, a video explaining eTA and help with applying for an eTA.